I shall not want. I shall not want.

For the past weeks, I have been playing this song by Elevation Worship and Maverick City because I feel the strong need to be grounded on contentment and gratitude—because I am in the phase of recovery where I began wanting.

I want what my peers have—education, career, and relationship milestones.

In the last 3 years, I was laser focused with cancer treatments. I only wanted to be cancer-free. And now that I am, I began noticing the ordinary and the extraordinary in the lives of my peers—I began to envy. I began wanting for more.

PET CT Result

Last March 4, almost a year since I was declared in remission and 6 months since my last PET CT, I had a scan.

The scan says that I am still in remission! The result concludes that although the masses in my chest and kidneys remain, there are no hypermetabolic nodal and extranodal disease. I rejoice!

But for a moment, I wanted a very “clean” scan, where there are no masses. I wanted more.

Ureteral Stent

Because my PET CT was favorable, my urologist agreed to remove the stent in my right ureter. Hence, on March 11, I underwent an outpatient procedure—cystoscopy, removal of J stent, right, under general anesthesia.

Being back in the Operating Room, I felt a little melancholic. Before going under anesthesia, I was staring at the scrub nurse as he prepares instruments that I can identify, and I thought, that could have been me.

That should have been me.

I was thankful to my surgical team but I envied them. My role as the perioperative nurse was turned as the patient. I wanted to stand next to them, not lie on the table. I wanted more.

Mediastinal Mass

On April 13, I “celebrated” my cancerversary—3 years since a mass was found in the middle of my chest.

This day was bittersweet. I wanted to scream I am still here happily. But inside, I was sad of how cancer has limited my present and I was scared of how cancer will affect my future. I wanted more.

I do not want to just exist. I want to live.

Diuretic Renography Result

On April 21, I had a diuretic renal scan.

Although there were no urinary obstructions, my right kidney function was diminished. Honestly, I already expected the result because of the presence of the masses. But I was still disappointed. I wanted normal kidney functions. I wanted more.

My periodic tests and consultation were moved from every 3 weeks to monthly. My post transplant medicines were mostly maintained. My immunosuppressants—including a steroid—were decreased a little. Only a little. I wanted more.

The steroid that is saving me from graft-versus-host disease is also the same steroid that is sabotaging my self-image. I do not want the moon face. I do not want the buffalo hump. I want a proportionate body.

April 23, 2021

I was ashamed for wanting more.

I was ashamed for being envious.

But I have always known what to do—I come to Jesus.

Only Jesus can take away my shame. Only Jesus can truly fulfill the longings behind these wants.

I have to remember Psalm 23—the Lord is my Shepherd. I have to remember how he walked with me through the valley of the shadow of death. I have to remember where I was to better appreciate where I am.

Spirit Cake

On May 17, I celebrated my first rebirth day—exactly 365 days from transplant, the day I received the stem cells of my sister.

I am humbled and grateful to the Lord for this milestone.

I realized that I shall not want outside of the Lord’s plan and purpose for me. I realized that my desires must align with the Lord’s desires. And in times that my thoughts and my heart began to wander, I trust that my Shepherd will keep me from going astray.

My Shepherd is taking good care of me—I lack nothing.

I shall not want. I shall not want. I’ve got everything that I need, Your goodness and Your mercy.